Bride honored for helping save father-in-law during wedding rehearsal heart attack

It was supposed to be the biggest, happiest moment of their lives.

And yet they didn't know how to feel.

Someone very special was missing at Kelly Coonradt's wedding last September -- her father-in-law, Lyle Coonradt.

"This is not quite going as planning, because [we're] missing someone very important," the pastor said during the ceremony.

Just hours earlier, Lyle, 82, was stricken with sudden cardiac arrest in the same Plymouth church sanctuary where his son, Dan, was was married.

"The night that that happened, we didn't even know if Dan's dad was going to live or die," Kelly says.

As hard as it was, the Coonradts decided to go ahead with the celebration.

Lyle would eventually awake from his medically induced coma and make a full recovery. Now, Kelly is one of several people getting credit for saving his life.

"We just think that God was really watching over him that day," she says. "Lyle could not have been in a better place at a better time."

When Lyle collapsed during the wedding rehearsal, Kelly -- now one semester from becoming a nurse -- sprang into action.

Saint Barnabas Lutheran Church Pastor Wayne Peterson ran to get his church's AED, and shocked Lyle's heart.

"He was getting blue around the lips," Kelly says.

She and a family friend -- a nurse -- performed CPR, alternating chest compressions and breathing.

Their heroic efforts were just enough to bring Lyle back.

"What she did is amazing," Kelly's husband, Dan, says. "She stepped right in. You can't waste time."

We had the chance to speak to Lyle Wednesday afternoon from his winter home in Tucson, Arizona.

"I feel extremely fortunate and blessed," he said. "I think it was another one of those miracles that happened."

Kelly, her friend, pastor Peterson, and several responding Plymouth police officers will be honored for their life-saving actions in a special ceremony at the Plymouth Creek Center Ballroom tonight. The ceremony begins at 7:30.